Updating to El Capitan with older Mac Pro

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by mbabc, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. mbabc macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2006
    I have a 2012 Apple Mac Pro "Quad Core" 3.2 computer with 12 GB of RAM. I'm reluctant to give the thing up because I love have 4 SATA bays that I can use for swapping drives easily.

    Running under the latest version of Yosemite, the computer can get VERY slow, particularly when a background task (backups, Spotlight indexing) is taking place. Cleaning out the caches helps some, for a while, then it gets quite slow again.

    Can anyone share thoughts about what upgrading to El Capitan might do? I had read that it is largely an improvement to the performance of Yosemite, so it seems as if it might give me a boost in performance. On the other hand, each successive OS upgrade has seen things slow down further.

    As a follow-up, would adding more RAM help things out?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    While I don't use Mac Pro I'm fairly certain adding more RAM isn't going help, 12GB should be enough unless you use demanding software.

    Some things to consider:

    1. Do you have many background processes running constantly? You can check Activity Monitor, tabs Processor and RAM. Alternatively Etrecheck might help you getting better picture of what is going on you Mac Pro.
    2. Installing SSD is certain way to improve performance.
    3. Have you upgraded the OS X through several versions without clean install? Usually I don't recommend clean install but it might help in your case.

    On newer Macs El Capitan is likely faster than Yosemite but unfortunately I haven't been able to find any objective speed comparisons.
  3. TonyK macrumors 65816


    May 24, 2009
    So we know you have a system with 12GB of memory but know nothing about the storage system.

    Before making any wild guesses please fill us in on if you have an HD, SSD or Fusion drive, the total size of the drive and how much free space is left.

    Also open up Activity Monitor and look at the Memory tab and report how much is installed (yes, we know 12GB)and also much is used and if there is any SWAP used.

  4. mbabc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2006
    Thanks for responding.

    I did a clean install of Yosemite a few months back. It didn't seem to help.

    Activity Monitor always shows a ton of processes but most of them are using 0.0% CPU at any given time. I've used Etrecheck to clean up old launch agents, etc. and haven't seen much of an improvement.

    My main symptoms are that applications very slow to launch. Mail, for instance, sometimes takes so long that I use activity monitor (which has it as not responding) to kill Mail and then relaunch (which usually, then, goes faster). Also, at times the keyboard will not register for awhile or I'll have trouble getting auto-fill with contacts in Mail.

    It this point, if I can't figure anything else out, I may just try a clean install and go right to El Capitan, to see how that works.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 1, 2016 ---
    Actually, one other item that may be affecting things. There always seem to be several Adobe processes going at any given time. Could these be a problem? Screenshot attached from Activity Monitor
    --- Post Merged, Feb 1, 2016 ---
    Thanks for replying.

    I have a SATA 2 TB hard drive with 1.36 on disk and 637.98 GB available.

    According to Activity Monitor there is 12.00 GB of physical memory. At this point. 3.35 GB (2.40 GB for App Memory and 968.1 MB for Wired Memory) with the Cache at 2.56 GB.

    Attached Files:

  5. Lunder89 macrumors 6502


    Oct 16, 2014
    On SSD's OS X is hard to compete with, but on regular harddrives, OS X is slow. Most PC's can work faster than OS X on the same hardware, IF a regular harddrive is in use.

    I think getting a good SSD for your Mac Pro will speed it right up, and keep it running fast for the next 5 years :)
  6. mbabc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2006
    What about a SSHD – a "Solid state hybrid drive?" Here's how Seagate describes it: "The Seagate Desktop SSHD combines a high capacity hard drive and 8GB of solid-state MLC flash to add SSD like performance to any desktop. The Desktop SSHD boots and launches applications within seconds of a solid state drive, but is more cost efficient because the combined technology leverages the cost efficiency of a hard disk drive."
  7. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    I haven't tested SSHD but I personally prefer SSD for OS and software with hard drive for other data.

    I am not certain how much that 8GB of flash is going to help, probably depends on how the manufacturer has implemented it and how much data you are going to use.
  8. davidhands macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2016
    Birmingham UK

    Late 2008 Macbook 4GB RAM 120GB SSD

    Upgraded to El Capitan from Yosemite 2 days ago - download took about 20 minutes, install took about 25 minutes. All working fine. No problems as yet (only using default applications plus occasional Pages, Opera and ICQ).
  9. macmesser macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2012
    Long Island, NY USA
    I have a 2009 Quad core which runs el Capitan pretty fast. Of course, this is a subjective perception and would be dependent on tasks being performed. On that machine I'm not doing much beyond Photoshop editing and other photography applications. I do also have a generous amount of memory, 32 gigs, which helps a lot in keeping things zippy.

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8 January 26, 2016